Sadly, some "writers" don't even know how to have an independent
thought, much less do independent research - just look at what the
convential media "feeds" us every day. Besides, if a "writer" doesn't
kiss the bosses ass, they won't have a job.
This article really isn't too bad and it reminds us again that the
incumbent telcos are a huge and constant threat to the survival of
independent ISPs and WISPs. It also reminds us that WISPs who ignore the
Muni Wi-Fi market do so at their own peril.
Marlon K. Schafer (509) 982-2181 wrote:
don't these authors ever do any independent non spoon fed research?
(509) 982-2181 Equipment sales
(408) 907-6910 (Vonage) Consulting services
42846865 (icq) And I run my own wisp!
18.104.22.168 (net meeting)
----- Original Message ----- From: "Peter R." <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
To: "WISPA General List" <email@example.com>
Sent: Friday, March 24, 2006 11:59 AM
Subject: [WISPA] Sprint Wi-Fi
By Al Senia
Municipal Wi-Fi networks are sprouting up around the United States,
and it’s been independent ISPs such as EarthLink and Google that
typically have struck deals with cities to provide wireless broadband
access in an attempt to wrest market share from incumbent service
Now in an example of the “if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em” mentality,”
Sprint Nextel has entered into a 60-day trial with the Las Vegas
suburb of Henderson, Nev. to launch a mesh Wi-Fi broadband network.
The wireless service is primarily aimed at helping city officials and
emergency responders work more efficiently in the field, although it
will also be made available to every resident, visitor and business in
the city of 175,000.
Sprint views the trial as a learning experience. “We are doing this to
better understand how people use it and to measure network
performance,” explained one Sprint executive at the TelecomNext trade
show, where the announcement was made this week. Like other service
providers, Sprint is studying how to develop a Wi-Fi business model
that can actually make a profit. (Sprint is covering the network’s
cost, but it won’t reveal the amount of the investment.) Henderson
Mayor James Gibson says police and fire personnel, as well as safety
inspectors will heavily utilize the wireless system.
The trial is being touted as the first municipal Wi-Fi trial of any
magnitude carried out by a local operator in the US market. The Wi-Fi
service is actually being operated by Sprint’s local communications
business, which is expected to separate from the parent company later
this year and operate under the name Embarq.
What’s interesting about this situation is that Sprint is actually
competing with itself since it offers PCS and EVDO service in the same
service footprint. Of course, it’s not at all clear whether the
Henderson trial will extend beyond the end of May. But if it does,
Sprint could conceivable lose existing broadband customers to the new
citywide broadband network. (It could also lose telephone customers to
VoIP running over the network.)
Of course, Sprint and other incumbent providers face the same problem
battling the municipal networks in cities across the US. At least in
Henderson’s case, Sprint can somewhat control the competitive fray, as
well as lock out other Wi-Fi service providers. For these reasons, if
this experiment extends beyond its initial date, it could serve as a
model for incumbent telcos, especially if Sprint ends up with a
business model that actually works and turns a profit.
(Al Senia is the editor of America’s Network.)
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